The welfare economics of optional water metering with asymmetric information
The paper develops a model of decentralized metering decisions when selective metering is socially optimal. Households choose between two-part tariffs. Decentralization achieves social efficiency when the regulator, who knows household characteristics, gives household-specific compensation (via a reduction in the lump-sum charge on choosing to have a meter), while allowing for the cost of metering. Relative to the status quo of no metering the full-information scheme provides a Pareto improvement. With asymmetric information the first-best allocation of meters can be achieved when only small consumers should have meters. When large consumers alone should be metered it is not possible to separate customers. An exogenous signal that is highly correlated with the unknown type can, however, help to alleviate this problem. The policy of requiring meters to be provided free is problematic because the first-best allocation does not enable all the water supplier`s costs to be recovered.
|Date of creation:||01 Aug 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
- Rajah, N & Smith, S, 1993. "Distributional effects of household water charges," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 86-108, August.
- Barrett, R. & Sinclair, P., 1999. "Water Charges and the Cost of Metering," Discussion Papers 99-05, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
- Armstrong, M. & Doyle, C. & Vickers, J., 1995.
"The access pricing problem: a synthesis,"
Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics
9532, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
- Erin T. Mansur & Sheila M. Olmstead, 2007.
"The Value of Scarce Water: Measuring the Inefficiency of Municipal Regulations,"
NBER Working Papers
13513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mansur, Erin T. & Olmstead, Sheila M., 2012. "The value of scarce water: Measuring the inefficiency of municipal regulations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 332-346.
- Andrés Chambouleyron, 2002. "An Incentive Mechanism for Decentralized Water Metering Decisions," Industrial Organization 0206001, EconWPA, revised 01 Nov 2002.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:273. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Caroline Wise)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.